Sunday, May 27, 2007


Reliable and verifiable information on any member of the Tendler family is now fair game. You may post in the comment section or preferably, e-mail:a_unorthodoxjew@yahoo.com

Your anonymity is absolutely guaranteed if that is your desire! I am in contact with various members of the national media and others, that are investigating issues about the Tendler family that have not yet come to light. Feel free to come forward with your information confidently, knowing my impeccable reputation of keeping my sources confidential, and having been dead-right on the facts!

This matter is very relevant and urgent in many ways. Tendler is buying a house in Baltimore and positioning himself to begin his career anew. He still is involved with Torah.org. He is moving into a community with young married couples. HE IS DANGEROUS and in my opinion, seriously deranged!


From Luke Ford - edited slightly

Aron Boruch Tendler (born January 16, 1955) was the senior rabbi of Shaarey Zedek Congregation in North Hollywood, California. He resigned from his position in January 2006 under pressure (from his board and other Orthodox rabbis).

Aron's January 18, 2006 resignation letter had only one typo and was probably composed by two Shaaray Zedek leaders, Jim Kapenstein and Jack Yellin, who are high-powered lawyers at Disney -- the president of the shul and the chairman of the board of directors.

The letter made no mention of the charges of sexual abuse levelled against Aron by many of his former female students (as well as reports of consensual sexual philandering with adults over the past 20 years).

From a post to New Hempstead by a woman (a student of Aron's at YULA) who had a flirtatious and phone sex relationship with Aron over many years while she was an adult: "Several laywers over the years have asked us to go to the Beit Din as recently as last year but the majority of us are not religious and don't believe in this system and think it's a bit hypocritical to turn to the beit din when clearly Aron is not a religious man and neither are we religious."

I fact-checked the following post with a reliable source (a former female student of Aron's):

He has been cheating on his wife for 20 years. This is no loss to the Jewish world. I personally had an inappropriate relationship with him for 14 years. I have a friend who tried to commit suicide [overdosed in 2003] because he molested her at the age of 16 [and had a sexual relationship with her for more than a decade]. And yes, he told us he was molested as a child by a close family member. We tried for years to get rid of him and no one would listen to us, not even the then president of the shul. He knows it's ALL true and that's why he is resigning. For no other reason.

Aron Tendler served as teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal at the (girls) Yeshiva University of Los Angeles High School. He was known as hip and cool by many of his students. His classes were more relaxed. If kids wanted to have a few drinks over a Shabbaton, Aron would only advise "Don't get sick."

Aron was replaced as principal of the girls YULA in 1987 after two underage teenage girls made complaints to Dr. Bruce Powell (the principal of secular studies and a non-Orthodox Jew) who became adamant that Aron had to go.

Dr. Powell told a reporter at the Jewish Journal Jan 26, 2006 (in an unpublished statement) that he left YULA before Tendler left and that the information on my website about him, Dr. Powell, was completely untrue.

I stand behind my story that Dr. Powell was adamant that Aron must go. Dr. Powell and Aron were at each other's throats at the time and their dispute was known around YULA and around the Los Angeles Orthodox community (and would be talked about for years afterwards by, among others, YULA students).

Instead of being called "Rav Aron," Tendler got the nickname "Rub Aron" for his behavior (at YULA boys school, at YULA girls school, at Shaaray Zedek, at NCSY, and elsewhere) with females above and below the California age of consent of 18.

Nineteen eighty seven was a tumultuous year at YULA Girls High School because of Aron's proclivities. There was constant and open conflict between him and Dr. Bruce Powell. Aron was frequently absent. Talk about these problems spread throughout the YULA community and beyond and never ceased over the next 18-years (though LA's Orthodox community did next to nothing to keep Aron out of positions of religious leadership).

In 1987, Aron Tendler was brought before a Beit Din (Jewish law court composed of three rabbis) on the charges of two underage YULA girls (both could be said to come from difficult homes but the girls did not have credibility problems except under the extreme duress of the Beit Din) that he sexually molested them. One girl said that he performed oral sex on her. The girls were broken down by the brutal questioning of the Beit Din (which, included, I believe, Aron's uncle Rabbi Sholom Tendler). Sholom Tendler successfully argued that his nephew Aron should be moved to the YULA boys school. Other than that, all Aron needed, according to Shalom, was "to study more Torah."

The two girls were on the fringe of the Orthodox community. They were worried about where they would go to college. They did not want to do battle with the powers that be at YULA. They chose not to press charges (either in Jewish life or in secular criminal court) after they were humiliated at the Beit Din.

One of the YULA girls Aron messed around with attempted suicide in 2005.

Aron taught at YULA boys highschool until about 1995 when he devoted himself to Shaarey Zedek and deeds of loving kindness in the wider community (particularly with troubled women).

Two of Aron's female former students (both of whom had sexual interactions with him, one while underage) estimate Aron had inappropriate relations with about 20 underage girls at YULA (from writing sexual poetry to inappropriate flirting to phone calls to rubbing himself against them repeatedly to groping, one girl he almost had intercourse with before she went to Dr. Bruce Powell, one girl said he gave her oral sex) and that he had forms of consensual sex (from phone sex to more, in much of it he professed an obsession with not spilling his seed as that is prohibited in the Torah) with 30 or more adult women in the past 20 years.

Aron's first two accusers to Dr. Powell had a falling out. One girl, even though she knew better, told Dr. Powell once that the other girl was lying about her fling with Aron.

Rabbi Aron Tendler has told people, including women he was sexually intimate with, that he was sexually molested as a boy by a close family member.

"We were at an all-girls school," says a female former YULA highschool student from this time. "Our hormones were going nuts. And Aron Tendler was there. He was flirty. He had two or three buttons of his shirt unbuttoned, walking up and down the hallway. He provoked it. Kids bored in school were flirting with him. I can't say he touched people unwillingly. I think they did it and then afterwards asked, ohmigod, what happened?

"He wasn't someone who was going to force himself him on you. Years later the girls woke up later and said, this was wrong.

"Before he'd have an affair, he'd discuss the halacha [Jewish law] about wasting sperm.

"Whenever it gets down to it, Aron gets afraid and removes himself. I heard he removed himself from the RCC. I'm surprised he isn't resigning from Sharei Tzedek. He has to be crazy to want this all to go public.

"He was very careful in the girls that he picked. He always picked girls who came from troubled homes, so that if we went public, he could say that we're crazy.

"I don't judge anyone, but when you stand on a podium and portray yourself as better than everyone else, and you say that we're crazy, that's the issue I have.

He's living a double life. He's been cheating on his wife for 20 years.

"When you're in the Jewish world and you look at Aron Tendler, you might think he's sexy, but when you're in the outside secular world, and you look at him again, it's like night and day.

"Aron told one of the girls that he had had an affair while his wife Esther was pregnant and she had a stillborn baby, and he always felt it was punishment for cheating on her.

"He told me stories about a woman in Beverly Hills and when her husband was away, he would go over to her house and they would just lie in bed naked together. He was all into the halacha against spilling your seed.

"He shouldn't be running a shul. If two adults want to have an affair, then have an affair. It's morally incorrect but not worth tattling about.

"[For several years after highschool], I couldn't be at an event where he didn't approach me. There could be 500 people in the room. He would make it straight to me and ask me if I wanted to go outside and talk. I thought, aren't people wondering what we're talking about? I realized he was telling people I had problems and I needed to talk to him. But really, he was flirting with me.

"When he'd walk away, he'd be standing with some single guy and they'd be looking back at me and laughing. I remember saying to him once, 'Were you talking against me?' I was so naive. I thought, he's not going to talk lashon hara [evil speech]. He's a rabbi. I must be imagining it.

"Then [fellow student and friend] would tell me things he would tell her about me, and he would tell me things about her, so finally I realized he was talking against me. When I'd bring this up to him, he'd say, 'You know I love you.'

"SSS was much more damaged by him than me. She confronted him recently. He said to her, 'I'd talk to you about it but I'm still sick.' He admits it.

"If I was him, I'd say, 'I need help.' Play the victim. Just stop telling people that we're crazy and lying. That just forces people to tell their stories.

"The Shaarey Tzedek board was told two years ago these stories and all they did was blame the women.

"A letter was written to his wife Esther two years ago with everybody's story in it. Esther got it and almost had a heart attack.

"The wife had to know that what was in the letter was true because it was filled with intimate details about their marriage that he had told all of us. Even a girl who stayed in their house and the situation she had with him."

A female former student of Aron's at YULA reports about Aron and one of his YULA students: "They would meet, talk and touch [in a parking lot and elsewhere]. The flirtation went on for two years. The sex was planned for a school outing at Brandeis and when they were alone and she was confronted with it, she ran out. At that point when they came back from the trip, she went to Bruce Powell."

The stories about Aron's behavior have gone on for years. Every major Orthodox rabbi in Los Angeles knows about the complaints against Rabbi Aron Tendler. I do not believe that anyone did more to protect Aron's positions of religious leadership than did his uncle Sholom Tendler, who said Aron just needed "to learn more Torah" to overcome his molestation inclinations.

No civil lawsuit has been filed against Aron Tendler in this matter (due to its nature, the women who say that Rabbi Aron Tendler molested them don't want to go public as most of them have familes of their own, and communities tend to rally around their leaders and stigmatize those who accuse the leaders of sexual misconduct).

Aron is popular with his peers who are loathe to discipline him. Aron is a "nice guy." He's "humble."

From a Tendler perspective, one could view Rabbi Aron's behavior as bagging trophies of the virgins under his care. He did it out of love. He initiated them and prepared them for a mature relationship with their later husbands.

A Tendler could argue that these girls had emotional problems, and Rabbi Tendler was curing them through bodywork and helping them appreciate the physical dimension of life. This is what God intended in creating the world.

Aron's rabbi-brother Mordecai is also being investigated by the RCA for sexual misconduct.

A male graduate of YULA Boys High School who knew the two girls who brought the initial charges against Aron (he is no longer Orthodox) says: "The good girls who bought the company line and stayed mainstream Orthodox, they don't want to touch this. They want to get on with their Orthodox lives. When hey were 20 or so, they were set up on shidduchim (dates) with Orthodox men. They married Orthodox men and made Orthodox lives. They have children going to Orthodox day schools. They belong to Orthodox synagogues. They don't want to hear anything about the girls who were outside the fringes. They respect people in positions of [power in Orthodoxy]. They don't know anything about the fringe and they don't want to believe that that stuff happened.

"A couple of guys friends and I were friends with these two girls. We knew what was breaking out. We tried to find out more. We talked to our friends. The girls were traumatized. One girl went in there and said, 'How dare you preach morality when you have a rabbi who's making advances at me?'

"That sent Dr. Powell off. He said, 'What the hell are you talking about? You better be serious about this.' That started an investigation which culminated in the Beit Din. He got a slap on the wrist and moved to the boys school under the supervision of his uncle Sholom Tendler. A few years later, he gets hired [as Shaarey Zedek's rabbi] and he's teaching all these courses to women and counseling women.

"In those days [1987], if you were a girl who admitted to sexual activity, you would have a credibility problem [with the Orthodox community]. You were a bad girl. So the girls who brought charges against Aron were regarded as bad girls [by the YULA establishment].

"These girls weren't bad girls. They were exploring life and questioning. They weren't saying this about any other teacher or any other person in authority in their lives.

"Aron would hone in on the girls who were attractive and problematic and have his jollies.

"The stories about Aron were consistent, that he would cross lines.

"I remember one of my friends showing me the poem that he wrote [to a girl]. It was inappropriate.

"Aron is a smooth talker. He's an intelligent man. He's studied philosophy and psychology. Even if you caught him at certain things, he'd say, 'Well, Kant and Freud say it's important to share your meaningful experiences with the youth so that they can identify and appreciate it and grow.' He has an answer for everything.

"Aron crossed lines with girls I knew. Though inappropriate, his actions regarding the girls who came forward at that time could be, and were, covered up and explained away. For example, who can prove the insinuation of poems? And who can prove whether a touch was intimate or not? I believe that the problem with the situation with the girls who came forward was that in their case there was not enough solid evidence (nor enough sexual activity) to make their charges hold up."


Beth Jacob Honors Predator-Rabbi Aron Tendler

Aron Tendler was seated on the bima (elevated pulpit-like area in front of the shul) at Beth Jacob Saturday morning. Rabbi Steven Weil (who's kicked more than 50 people out of his shul since taking over about six years ago to create, he says, a safe haven for his members) said a few laudatory sentences about Aron Tendler. It's an annual thing for Rabbi Aron Tendler to come to Beth Jacob (and perhaps say a few words in honor of his grandfather Rabbi Moshe Feinstein).
Rabbi Aron Tendler delivered a lecture at YOLA entitled, "When was the last time you really said I love you?" It's available on 613.org: "The topic itself is one of my favorite topics. I always wonder when was the last time I really said I love you to my own wife."

He also gave a Purim class at YOLA entitled: "In Search of Adam's Clothes."

Rabbi Aron Tendler is famous for speaking out against domestic abuse.

Bringing Jewish domestic violence out of the closet
Fine, Arlene. The Cleveland Jewish News. Cleveland: Feb 6, 1998.Vol.68, Iss. 20; pg. 32

"The safest place for a woman should be in the arms of her husband," says Rabbi Aaron Tendler of Shaarey Zadek Congregation in North Hollywood, Calif. "If she doesn't feel that way, she must immediately get out of the relationship and seek help. If there is no kindness between a woman and her spouse, the sadness can be overwhelming. No one deserves that."

Rabbi Tendler's comments on domestic abuse and those of several other leading rabbis, plus poignant testimonies from formerly abused Jewish women, are brought into sharp focus in the recently released videotape on domestic violence, "To Save A Life: Ending Domestic Violence in Jewish Families."

The worst advice a rabbi or professional can give a woman in an abusive relationship is to simply return to her husband and forgive and forget, says Rabbi Tendler.

"Certain sins just can't be forgiven. When a woman is being abused, no one should tell her to go home, cook a nice supper and then things will get better. Things do not work that way. Without professional help, there is no way an abusive relationship can suddenly turn into a loving one."


Area rabbis learn about domestic abuse:
Multi-denominational workshop spurs dialogue on a difficult topic.
Rzepka, Susan. The Cleveland Jewish News. Cleveland: Oct 30, 1998.Vol.70, Iss. 6; pg. 18

Last week, a group of rabbis from all denominations gathered at Green Road Synagogue to broaden their knowledge and raise their collective awareness of domestic violence. They listened intently to the remarks of Rabbi Aron Tendler, spiritual leader of Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Los Angeles, who has become an expert in the field, and to Marcia Burnam, a survivor of domestic abuse. But many questions remain.

Many Jewish women feel reluctant to come to their rabbis with the problem of domestic abuse, admits Rabbi Tendler. They assume that rabbis, who are usually men, will automatically side with their husbands. They fear rabbis will disapprove of them ending their abusive marriage through separation or divorce.

Women feel the burden of responsibility for shalom bayit, or household harmony, and see the admission of disharmony at home as a public shonda, or shame. The woman's abuser may be an outwardly charming, successful and religious man, and she fears that the community, let alone her rabbi, will not believe or support her.

This, says Rabbi Tendler, is the challenge facing rabbis: To let our congregants and communities know that our doors are open; that we can and will provide "a compassionate and empathetic ear who will listen and say, `I believe you,' when a woman seeks counsel."

"The greater the awareness, the greater the healing," says Rabbi Tendler. The most important thing a rabbi can do for a battered woman, say both speakers, is to listen, confirm, and edge her slowly toward getting the help she needs. Give her the hotline number (216-691-SAFE, for Project Chai, JFSA), a local provider of services for domestic-violence victims, and encourage her to call.

From the Jewish Journal January 30, 1998:

"When I counsel couples, I tell the woman, infront of her intended husband, that if he ever raises a hand to her, she should pick herself up and leave until the problem is resolved," Tendler said. "And if a woman is unsafe, it is incumbent upon every rabbi to pull out all the stops, including saying from the bimah that a man is not welcome in the community, because he abuses his wife."

From the Jewish Journal April 3, 1998:

The close-knit North Hollywood community offers many advantages to Jewish residents

Rabbi Aron Tendler, associate rabbi for Shaarey Zedek, said the primary reason for rebuilding the shul is that the synagogue can hardly keep up with requests for new classes. In addition to his job as an assistant principal at Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles, Tendler gives about five community lectures a week.

"There's no question we're benefiting now from the'settled' ba'alei teshuvah movement, those who have [become Orthodox]and are now looking for a community for their kids," he said.

Tendler characterizes Shaarey Zedek's congregation as "eclectic": "Here you'll see black hats, knitted kippot, the newlyobservant and the converted all sitting together. We have a real emphasis on maintaining open lines; we're not into judging people."

From the Jewish Journal March 28, 2003:

Rabbi Mattis Weinberg, who founded Yeshivat Kerem in Santa Clara in the mid-1970s, counts as some of his strongest supporters — and detractors — former Kerem students and faculty members who now live in Los Angeles.

Kerem, which existed for seven years, employed some well-known rabbis in Los Angeles, including Rabbi Shalom Tendler, now rosh yeshiva at YULA; Rabbi Aron Tendler of Shaarei Tzedek Congregation; Rabbi Daniel Lapin, formerly of the Pacific Jewish Center in Venice; and Rabbi Eliezer Eidlitz, now director of development at Emek Hebrew Academy.

From the website of his shul Shaarey Zedek:

Rabbi Aron Tendler has been teaching high school since 1976. His first position was in Phoenix AZ. as Dorm Supervisor for Ohr Hamidbar. From 1977 to 1980 Rabbi Tendler taught in Kerem Yeshiva, Santa Clara, California. He moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and has been a teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal at Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles. This past June, Rabbi Tendler retied from YULA to assume the position of Senior Rabbi at Shaarey Zedek Congregation.

This past December, Rabbi Tendler was awarded the coveted Miliken Foundation's Distinguished Educators Award.

In 1985, Rabbi Tendler became the Associate Rabbi at Shaarey Zedek Congregation in North Hollywood, California, the oldest and largest Orthodox congregation In the San Fernando Valley.

In 1996, Rabbi Tendler's position was advanced to Rabbi of Shaarey Zedek, and this past July he became the senior Rabbi.

For the past nine years, Rabbi Tendler has been the chairman of the Yeshiva Principals Council.

For the past six years, he has been a member of the executive board of the Rabbinical Council of California and currently holds the position of Chairman of the Vaad Hakashrus of the RCC.

Rabbi Tendler is author of the very popular Rabbi's Notebook and Parsha Summary, a weekly essay and review of the Parsha that is posted on the Project Genesis website. More than 11,000 subscribers receive his weekly presentations via e-mail.

Rabbi Tendler was featured in eight segments of Mysteries of the Bible, a program that is produced by Roos Films and aired on the A&E cable station.

More recently, Rabbi Tendler has received national recognition as a champion and voice combating domestic violence. He is a member of the Jewish Family Services Domestic Violence Task Force. The nationally distributed video, "To Save A Life" produced by the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence features Rabbi Tendler's passionate and encouraging views.

Rabbi Tendler was married to Esther Shapiro in 1976, and has raised their five children here in Valley Village.


1976 - Smicha - Rabbi Moshe Feinstein
1976 - BS Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
1976 - BA Talmudic Law - Ner Israel Rabbinical College
1986 - MA Guidance and Counseling - Loyola

Such Shaaray Zedek leaders as four-year president Irving Steinberg (2001-2005) as well as (Vice-President for Facilities) Robert Schacht and his wife Joni (nee Hofstedter) Schacht have been aware of the specific and credible allegations against Rabbi Aron Tendler for at least two years. A letter detailing Aron's philandering was sent to his wife Esther near the beginning of 2004. Rav Aron called Joni Hofstedder and asked her to tell his wife Esther that the accusers were crazy. Joni agreed and did that (even though at least one of the accusers was a longtime friend, and Joni's actions ended that friendship).

No fan of Aron, Joni later explained she wanted to protect the shiduchim (marriage) possibilies of Aron's children.

A Former Female YULA Student Of Aron Tendler's Faxes His Shul Shaaray Zedek 1/24/06:

Please tell Esther [Aron's wife] that perhaps she should finally apologize for all the horrific things she has been saying about the victims of Aron all these years. And she knows who we are speaking of.


Just so you know, Joni Schacht has been aware that your husband has been cheating on you for 20 years and never said a word to you. She is some friend to you.

This has already made it to the Internet but in case you haven't heard, Esther, your husband contacted Joni after you received the letter from his victims and asked Joni to lie and tell you that a certain someone wrote the letter who "didn't" write the letter and to say that this person is nuts. She then went to this victim's home uninvited to admit to what she has done and said she lied to you in order to protect your children.

This victim that your husband claims is nuts, had sex with Aron many times while he was at shul. And was propositioned by him for over 10 years to have sex.

Phone messages have been saved that can validate this.

Do you have any idea what he was doing to your 16 year-old house guest in the 1980's when you were sleeping at night? Maybe you should ask your husband.

I think it's YOUR husband that is nuts. NOT the victims.

Lashon Harah!
I guess something you didn't learn Esther when you decided to put on a tichel and pretend to be religious…just like your husband.

We hope Aron leaves earlier than the yom tovim. To have to listen to a child molester speak every Shabbos will be a bit nauseating.

I first published about the allegations of Aron Tendler molesting underage girls in late 2004. If I hadn't done that, I believe he would've continued in his position of religious leadership with the acquiescence of Los Angeles's Orthodox leadership (who, while they had no direct power over Shaaray Zedek and Aron Tendler, could've made an effort to remove him and shun him but chose to do next to nothing).

The most powerful group of Los Angeles Orthodox rabbis is the Rabbinical Council of California.

On this page, Rabbi Aron Tendler is listed as the chairman of the Kashrut Committee of the RCC and his uncle Sholom is document manager.

It's time to develop the definitive list of those people who enabled Rabbi Aron Tendler to keep access to vulnerable women for more than two decades. And let's also draw up a list of those who tried to do something about it. The first name on that last list is Dr. Bruce Powell, who got Rabbi Tendler fired about 15-years ago from his position as principal of the YULA (Yeshiva University Los Angeles) girls highschool.

Listing Those Who Honor Predator-Rabbi Aron Tendler

Yaakov Menken's Torah.org publishes his Torah essays.

613.org plays his lectures.

The Orthodox Union (a group of Modern Orthodox synagogues throughout North America) had Aron Tendler as a speaker on February 27, 28, 2004. The topic? "Strengthening the Jewish Family"

And what was the title of Aron Tendler's talk? "Ethics in Marriage: How it Enhances Your Marriage"

The OU writes: "Rabbi Aron Tendler...is a recognized champion against domestic violence. He is a member of the Jewish Family Services Domestic Violence Task Force."

Aron Tendler is listed as a faculty member of Netivot: "Netivot, Hebrew for Paths, is an independent center of Torah dedicated to enhancing women's intellectual and spiritual growth through intensive textual study in an inclusive and nurturing atmosphere."

What could be more enhancing to a woman's intellectual and spiritual growth than a good grope from a holy rabbi?

Aron Tendler endorses: "Oorah, which means "Awaken," was founded in 1980 with the goal of awakening Jewish children and their families to their heritage."

After the murder of Yaakov Aminov, 46, on July 4, 2002 at LAX, Aron appeared all over the news media as the dead man's rabbi: "How can it be," said Rabbi Aron Tendler, "that this righteous man was taken, that a mother of five sits alone, that he will no longer make kiddush on Friday night?"


A former YULA (Yeshiva University of Los Angeles) high school student writes:

Your information is consistent with the information I received while attending YULA. I was a senior in High School when the information regarding his behavior towards underage female students first came to light. Two of my friends were affected by Aron's actions. Your depictions are perfect with respect to his behavior, his modus operandi, and the women who he molested. At the time, they were quasi-willing participants. I use the term "quasi-willing" because adolescence, hormones, desires, and rational decisions don't quite walk hand-in-hand. The women who he molested possessed attractiveness and were not mainstream. Often, they were experiencing trouble at home and struggling with organized religion. Often, these struggles led them to experiment with behavior that was considered rebellious in the eyes of the orthodox Jew. Thus, the stage was set: An attractive woman whose credibility is labeled 'suspect' based on her innate struggles between her desires to explore and discover things that are natural for adolescents to explore (marijuana, sexual activity, non-mainstream thought and actions) and the doctrine of Orthodox Judaism being spoon-fed to her daily. A young attractive teacher/rabbi/psychologist/youth leader(he held all of these positions) approaches them with compassion and answers based upon Religion, Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology. He gains their trust, manipulates and fosters their desires, and engages in a sexually taboo experience.

If caught, Aron would use the student's status of outcast against her. He would pit his reputation as rabbi against their reputation of outcast. In other words, the very reason they sought his counsel (their manifest troubles) were used to discredit the veracity of the experience. In other words, he's not dumb, he's just sick, and twisted.

I heard the stories as they happened. I heard the girls cry. I read the poems he wrote, laden with sexual undertones.

Their experiences were forwarded to the administration at YULA. The girls were angry and felt exploited. The administration pressured them with the consequences of what would happen to them if they went public. They were told that they could lose their acceptance into college, and were reminded of the shame that this would bring to their families. In the face of public humiliation and for fear for their academic and professional futures being taken from them, the young women acquiesced, and withdrew their accusations. That was highly irresponsible of the administration. Their intimidation enabled his behavior.

Aron was relegated to teach strictly at the boys’ school under the supervision of his uncle Sholom Tendler. Nothing meaningful was done. Aron was told he has to learn more Torah, and it would all magically go away. It wasn't long before other stories began to surface of Aron’s sexual advances and machinations. Lo and behold, Aron became the head of a congregation and, I am told, was particularly adept at assisting women in troubled marriages.

Aron does not deserve to be called a Rabbi; He is a sick predator, preying on the trust and insecurities of children and women. The basis for these acts are of little significance. If he was molested as a child, then let him seek therapy through conventional channels, as opposed to infecting innocent and trusting people with his illness. I am told that the Orthodox community has been made aware of his actions on many occasions, and has failed to act upon it. It is comforting that Dr. Powell, the one non-orthodox Jew in the administration at YULA at the time, has the decency to leave and distance himself from the cess-pool of orthodox politics which included the pacifying of a molester.

Aron is resigning, but not until the High Holidays. I am certain that this is a tactical maneuver to buy him more time to save his job. He should leave immediately. He should be banned from the rabbanut. He should write personal letters of apology to each of the families he has harmed. He should do Kapparah in the form of true atonement to the women whose faith he has shaken and whose psychology he has permanently damaged. And, he should issue a public statement of Kapparah to the community. Aron is resigning, and expects a pat on the back for "stepping down."

Aron seems to have a lot of options for someone who sexually preys on the fragility of his students and congregants. Having been placed on “Notice” of Aron’s behavior, the congregation allowed him to stay on for an additional eight months. Let’s see, 30 incidents in about 18 years. That averages out to one every 7.2 months. That congregation’s board better pray REALLY hard that his lawless intimate familiarities don’t follow the law of averages, or they may find themselves becoming intimately more familiar with a lawsuit. I guess after all this time the sage approach remains ignoring reality and just learning torah. Worked for Aron, didn’t it?

If G-d’s sense of justice is as poetic as Aron, Aron will be faced with the same credibility problems that his victims faced years ago, as he seeks to utilize his charlatan services elsewhere. He has caused more people than he knows to turn away from Judaism. Aron is a blight on the spirituality of Judaism, whose actions were never dealt with properly. Though quite charming and, to be sure, quite a glib speaker, it is difficult to imagine how the rabbinic community has done nothing to inhibit his actions, aside of course from having him learn more Torah. Though hardly a scholar, it would seem to me that he still seems to be having trouble with commandments 6-10.

The Orthodox entities that were aware of his actions and did nothing to correct it should be ashamed of themselves. Standing idly by while knowing that a diseased person is in the position of power to carry out his manipulations and crimes against innocent minors and women, is itself criminal.

I don't care who his grandfather was. My ancestry goes back to a different Aron--the high Priest. Please inform me if this entitles me to carry out unconscionable acts against my fellow human beings. They must have skipped that chapter in school. "Thou CAN commit adultery and molestation if thy ancestry is impressive."

Please help me understand why the Orthodox Jewish community has continued to pay this molester hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to spread his sickness? As churches and priests are charged and paying dearly for their horrific molestations and acquiescence, I wonder if this is what my rabbis had in mind when preaching Or L'Goyim---be a light onto the nations. You need not be an Orthodox Jew to recognize the illegal and depraved behavior of Aron. But, apparently you need to be an Orthodox Jew to condone it.....


Tendler Resigns Under Cloud

Amy Klein, Religion Editor, writes March 7, 2006

Rabbi Aron Tendler has stepped down six months early from the pulpit of Shaarey Zedek, an Orthodox synagogue in Valley Village, because “it was no longer appropriate for Rabbi Tendler to continue,” shul officials said.

Tendler, 51, first announced his resignation in a January letter to congregants. At the time, he said he planned to remain leader of the synagogue until the High Holidays in September. But in a March 6 letter to congregants, shul president Jim Kapenstein and board chair Yacov Yellin wrote that Tendler would be stepping down immediately in light of “new matters which had recently been brought to our attention.”

The letter offers no specifics and shul officials declined to elaborate.

Separately, The Journal has learned that Tendler was once accused of inappropriate conduct at the Yeshiva of Los Angeles (YULA), an Orthodox high school in Pico-Roberston where he had worked from 1980 through June 1999, first as a teacher and then also as a principal. The 1987 investigation was inconclusive, but Tendler transferred from the girls school to the boys school by his uncle Sholom, which is located on a separate campus.

Allegations against Rabbi Tendler surfaced on Jewish blogs — web logs — more than a year ago, citing anonymous sources who alleged the rabbi had behaved inappropriately toward women and girls. These rumors were alluded to briefly in articles published in two East Coast newspapers about problems facing the rabbi’s brother, Mordechai Tendler, who is currently defending himself against accusations of sexual misconduct.

Tendler is regarded as a charismatic leader and an inspiring teacher and speaker — someone who could turn around troubled youths, leading them to more religious, more successful lives.

“We intend to uphold appropriate conduct not only in sexual abuse but other types of conduct,” said Rabbi Avrohom Union, the rabbinic administrator of the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC).

July 10, 2006

Aron Tendler sent out a single-page letter (which hit mailboxes July 10, 2006) to all the members of Shaarey Zedek, where he served as a rabbi for about eight years until he resigned earlier this year over charges of sexual misconduct, announcing that he was no longer a rabbi in any capacity and should not be asked to decide halakhic questions or to do marital therapy........

Monday, May 14, 2007

Rabbinic Judaism Inc.

A Portable God for the World’s First Multinational Business

Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (Phoenix Grant, 1987)
Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion (Pluto Press, 1994)
Dan Cohn-Sherbok, The Crucified Jew (Harper Collins,1992)
Henry Hart Milman, The History of the Jews (Everyman, 1939)
Josephus, The Jewish War (Penguin, 1959)
Leslie Houlden (Ed.), Judaism & Christianity (Routledge, 1988)
Karen Armstrong, A History of Jerusalem (Harper Collins, 1999))
Jonathan N. Tubb, Canaanites (British Museum Press, 1998)
Norman Cantor, The Sacred Chain - A History of the Jews (Harper Collins, 1994)

Whatever daughter religions might spin off from old Judaism, the parent religion itself had inevitably to refashion itself for the new era. After the disaster of 135 AD, a number of Jews retreated into asceticism, banning meat and wine altogether, since sacrifice in the temple was no longer possible. Others lost themselves in mysticism, attempting to reach the ‘celestial throne’ via their imagination, the forerunners of the later ‘Kabala’.

But for all their suffering, most Jews were not ready to bastardise their traditional creed by infusing it with the dying godman mythology. The vacuum was filled by ‘Rabbinic Judaism’, the inheritor of the Pharisee tradition.

"The rabbis, a smallish group (perhaps a hundred or so in the whole Roman empire) of religious specialists descended from the Pharisees, gradually enhanced their status and developed a specifically Jewish way of arguing, which marked them off quite dramatically from both Christians and Romans." (Keith Hopkins, A World Full of Gods, p234)

In Palestine itself, where the Jews were now a minority, what remained of traditional Judaism turned inward. No longer could its priests use the ‘temple magic’ once used to summon divine favour, no longer could Judaism be proselytised.

The Rabbis became ‘clericalised’ – obsessed with cultic ‘rules’ as a practical substitute for the lost temple. They peopled the air itself with beneficent and malign spirits. A Jewish ‘code to live by’ - the Mitzvoth (the forerunner of ‘monastic rules’) detailed no fewer than 613 rules, governing every pious moment from waking to sleeping, to keep the Jew on the right side of an all-seeing God.

‘His rising from his bed, his manner of putting on the different articles of dress, the disposition of his fringed tallith, his phylacteries on his head and arms, his ablutions, his meals, even the calls of nature were subjected to scrupulous rules – both reminding him that he was of a peculiar race, and perpetually reducing him to ask the advice of the Wise Men, which alone could set at rest the trembling and scrupulous conscience.’ (Milman, History of the Jews, p165)

Within a few generations Judaism would be codified anew, into a portable (albeit confining) religion which could accompany and – fatally – identify this pseudo-race in their wanderings in the centuries ahead. By the close of the fifth century, the total population of Jews would be half of what it was at the beginning of the ‘Christian era’.(See, Cantor, ibid)

The Jewish people – dispersed but bonded by an exclusive faith, uniquely among ‘peoples’ – established enclaves in every major city from India to Spain, from Arabia to Britain. Capitalising upon this network of ‘safe havens’, and with a filial presence in every major resource, from African ivory to Germanic slaves, the Jews threw themselves into the commerce of the ancient world.

Jewish merchants traversed with impunity the hostile frontiers between Rome and Persia, sailed the sea lanes from the chilly rivers of Germany to the balmy seas off the Horn of Africa. The Jews became dealers in amber and fur, gold and silver, slave-traders and money-lenders.

But they were also dealers in superstition as well as produce:

‘The empire swarmed with Jewish wonder-workers, mathematicians, astrologers, or whatever other name or office they assumed or received from their trembling hearers.’
(MiIlman, History of the Jews, p158)

Levies on their new wealth paid for a programme of synagogue building, and in turn, the synagogues strengthened the bonds of the Jewish communities. Rarely assimilating into their host cultures, convinced they were especially favoured by the deity (and thus strengthened in their faith), the heady mix of piety and mercantilism rewarded the Jews with an unparalleled financial success – and an unequalled and universal opprobrium.

Sound familiar? UOJ

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


When Holiness Fails

Neil Rubin
Editor - Baltimore Jewish Times

The following sermon was delivered by Rabbi Elan Adler on April 28, 2007 at Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation in Pikesville.......

A terrible thing has happened in our Jewish community, something that has caught us off guard and sent us reeling. We found out, through publicity in the BALTIMORE JEWISH TIMES, that even the holiest of Jewish people are only human, and that the Jewish community is not immune to sexual abuse by clergy and other people of authority.

By now you must have read the article, which was a cover story a couple of months ago, about a young man the JEWISH TIMES referred to as Steve, who was sexually abused by Orthodox Rabbis.

A few weeks ago, the JEWISH TIMES editor wrote of a group of men who gather as friends, all of whom shared experiences of being molested by Jewish teachers.

And just last week came the news of a well known and respected Orthodox rabbi whose sexual abuse was corroborated by several victims, most of them while they were kids and who are now in their 50's or 60's. The article graphically described what is known clinically as predatory behavior, by a revered teacher and rabbi who fondled and molested his students, perhaps as many as hundreds of them.

Many of you, as well as many in our community, were incensed by the article, feeling that it is lashon harah, evil gossip about someone, and further, considering that the rabbi died almost 20 years ago, the article was a disgrace of a man who could hardly defend himself against the onslaught of accusation. And besides, many of you said, he was a kind and comforting man who had the finest reputation, a reputation now being tarnished in full view of the public.

I have to say that when the most recent article first came out, and it named names which the first one didn't, I was torn. On the one hand, one teaching of our Jewish tradition kept flashing in my mind, and it actually comes from the names of the Torah portions this morning, which are Acharei Mot and Kedoshim. On their own, they are just names of portions, but when you put them together, they are a statement: Acharei Mot means after the death, and Kedoshim means holy things. Put together, it says,

After the death, you say holy things, and this has been a guiding principle for centuries, the idea that after someone passes away, you find the nicest and most complimentary things to say. In rabbinic school, when learning about how to prepare eulogies, we were taught exactly this: once someone has died, focus on the positive and desirable attributes of the person, and let the rest be.

That's how part of me felt when the recent article came out.

The other part of me was not reserved for this particular rabbi, but for any rabbi or cantor, or teacher or person of authority who would use their power and intimidation to violate the bodies of children under their care and supervision. I felt anger towards anyone, especially a religious Jew, who would repeatedly molest a child, knowing that the child would be scared to tell anyone. I felt anger for the victims, who didn't know where to turn or who to tell, and who would likely carry their shame in silence, and whose lives would be forever affected by the brazen abuser.

The story of abuse in our community in not about a deceased Rabbi, or about one particular segment of our community, or even about what should be published and what should not. In my opinion, the story of abuse in our community is how it has been misunderstood, how it has been covered up, and how it will be dealt with.

Sexual abuse has been terribly misunderstood. I know that because of the many ways confirmations of abuse have been mishandled by people who should have known better.

Do you remember when the extent of this abuse first became publicized about the Catholic Church? I remember when bishops and cardinals and others in high authority were cross-examined about what they knew, and when they knew it, and how they handled known molesters in the church.

When being asked, over and over again we heard testimony that sounded something like this: We didn't know what to do about the allegations regarding Father Dawson, but then we heard several more, and we knew we had to do something about it. So what did you do? Well, we mandated Father Dawson to seek psychological help or maybe even psychiatric help, and we thought that would cure the problem, and perhaps a month of that was not enough.

And after that month, did Father Dawson still have contact with children? Well, yes, we thought he was over the problem, and that his sessions with the professionals had straightened him out. That what the testimony sounded like over and over again. At best, not understanding; at worst, minimizing the problem, sending Father Dawson to parish after parish, where he abuses more and more, and in the wake of the misunderstood lusts of Father Dawson lay the strewn and ruined lives of his victims.

What were they thinking? Didn't they read today's Torah portion as part of the Old Testament? Didn't they read chapter 18 of the book of Leviticus, the many verses that describe the various relationships forbidden by the Torah? These verses are read on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year during the mincha service, and they are unbelievable in what they forbid. Do not have relations with your mother, do not have relations with your sister, do not have relations with your uncle, do not have relations with your sister-in-law, if you are a male, do not have relations with another male as you would with a female…….you've probably read these or heard of these, and you may ask, why did you call them unbelievable?

I'll tell you why, because most people reading this list of forbidden relationships would have a one-word Yiddish reponse- Feh! Who would want to have relations with these people? What kind of sick mind would go there? And the answer is exactly what makes the list unbelievable, and this is why God had to say them- because people do have these desires and these lusts, and they need to be curbed. Why didn't the hierarchy in the church not understand this and remove the priests from the temptations? Why did they think that a few sessions with a shrink would obliterate and extinguish what God himself knows to be in the human mind?

And so they were sent from parish to parish, exponentially victimizing unsuspecting children and teens, knowing that ignorance and silence are two of the greatest allies of sexual abusers.

And, my friends, the leaders of the Jewish community may have misdiagnosed the confirmations of abuse as well. In last week's Torah portion, in speaking of the Metzorah, the one who had a leper's disease, the Torah says in Leviticus 14:54, Zot Hatorah lechol nega, this is the law for every affliction. But the Talmud in Eruvin 54a has this teaching: Zot Hatorah, this Torah, the study of Torah, Lechol nega, is good for every ailment. The teaching was a very traditional one, namely, that for whatever ails you, the Torah is the remedy- if you have a headache, study the Torah. If you have any pain or affliction, the Torah is the remedy.

I can relate to you at least a dozen times where I've heard a parent of a formerly religious child, who had severe psychological problems or who was dealing with drug and alcohol abuse, when asking their Rabbi for help, the Rabbi would say, "if he studied the Torah more, if he davened better, if he performed more commandments, everything would be fine.”

It's a traditional teaching, but it's terribly misguided. Someone who is a sexual predator and abuser and molester needs heavy duty professional help over long periods of time. It doesn't matter if they're Orthodox, conservative or reform, reconstructionist, humanist, secular, Buddhist or Moslem, and to say that study or observance will take care of it is irresponsible and inexcusable.

So one story of abuse in our community is how it has been so gravely misunderstood and therefore minimized to the detriment of the innocent victims.

You may say, Rabbi, we didn't know then what we know now, about human behavior and how to treat people who abuse. That may be so, but another story of abuse in our community is those who knew, and continue to know, and who say nothing.

They say nothing because they don't want to shame or embarrass their institutions. They say nothing because they don't want to embarrass the family of the abuser, or because they feel it will affect the "marriagability” of the abusers children or even the abused. Or they say nothing because they think the problem will go away, or because they pity the abuser who can't control himself but who is otherwise a very nice person.

Those who know, and who don't report, are shameful accomplices to the shredded and humiliated lives of the victims. Are there such people in our community? You decide.

This is from a letter distributed by the Vaad Harrabanim to all Orthodox households prior to the JEWISH TIMES article:

"In the past, many mistakes were made in handling situations. Abusers were often not recognized for what they were, as it was too difficult to believe that otherwise good people could do such things, nor was it sufficiently appreciated what damage such acts could cause. It was often thought that if the abuser was spoken to or warned, and perhaps moved to a different environment, he would never do those things again. In responding this way, many terrible mistakes were made and tragic consequences resulted. We have seen too often the immediate or eventual failure of these "behind the scenes” agreements to keep the perpetrators away from others.”

I was one of the rabbis who signed the letter. But I did not write the letter. Behind the scenes agreements is something I should have asked about prior to signing the letter. When were these agreements made? Twenty years ago when rabbis were more naïve, or 20 days ago, when it could signal a coverup?

Are there Rabbis and principals and leaders in the know, who know, but won't say anything? This is something that needs to be investigated, and investigated with seriousness and speed. If there are abusive ticking bombs in our community, and we don't do everything we can to prevent another abuse, and people are being protected, it should make us feel tremendously uncomfortable.

So this story is not about a deceased rabbi, or just about one particular segment of our community, or about what should be published or what should not. It is about how it has been misunderstood, and how it's been covered up and may continue to be, and it's about a third area, how it will be dealt with from now on.

There is no question that if we know of a sexual predator, especially one who abuses children, Jewish law or halachah that this abuser is called a rodeph, literally a pursuer, one who is effectively poised to destroy innocent lives and therefore, virtually any means may be used to stop him and bring him to justice.

Not just from hearsay or innuendo, but once an abuser has been reported and corroborated by at least two other sources, we must speedily stop that person and expose him. In many cases, the most effective method to protect the community is to publicize the abuser's name.

Some may consider that a shanda, but we must be mindful that what the person has done, the crime committed and the shame borne is silence is an even bigger shanda. We have an obligation to protect not only current victims, but also all future victims, and these future victims are not only the future victims of the abuser, but also the victims of the victims themselves- there has been shown to be a significant correlation between being abused and then abusing others. Unless someone is stopped in his tracks, the ripple effect of abuse can be staggering.

Whether alive or deceased, the perpetrators must be exposed. Even the deceased are not entitled to go to their graves in peace while the pain and shame of their victims finds no rest or comfort. The deceased abuser cannot defend himself, but neither can he have the luxury of remaining guiltless in the eyes of humanity while so many of his victims continue to suffer a life of torment and pain.

And while we diligently root out the perpetrators of such heinous behavior, that takes advantage of the most powerless in society by the most powerful, we need to tell the victims that they can come forward to a receptive community that will hear their anguish, not be judgmental about how or why anything happened, and help them to be liberated from their nightmare and be supportive as they begin their healing.

Yes, a terrible thing has happened to our Jewish community. We found out that we are not immune to the same ills and disgraces that plaque our neighbors. We thought we were immune, and that our Torah study and Torah observance can protect us from such behavior. We thought that a religious personality couldn't possibly do such a thing. But if we did, we missed a critical teaching of our Torah portion today. Leviticus 19:1, Kedoshim Tihiyu, you shall be holy. This means not only in the letter of the law, but also the spirit of the law. Nachmanides made an insightful comment when he taught, "someone who only observes the letter of the law can easily become a degenerate with the permission of the Torah, for such a person can perform the technical requirements of the commandments, WHILE SURRENDERING TO SELF INDULGENCE, GLUTTONY AND LICENTIOUSNESS.

If you can keep strictly kosher, daven three times a day, keep every aspect of Shabbat, and meticulously observe the commandments, and then molest and abuse and scar an innocent child for life, whether living or deceased, you are not entitled to the mantle of holiness.

You are entitled to the contempt of the community which so faithfully put its trust in you.

May God help us to bring the perpetrators to justice and the victims to find their solace and strength from a community anxious to hear and help.


Sunday, May 06, 2007


Rabbi Lazer Ginsberg
Rabbi Lazer Ginsberg is affiliated with:
Agudath Israel Of America
42 Broadway
New York, N.Y.

Stefan Colemar

Stefan Colemar's victim writes:

I saw all this information about Stefan Colmer recently and could not believe what I was reading. Stefan is from Belmar New Jersey and I believe I was probably his very first victim of sexual abuse. He is only about 5 or 6 years older than I am, but when I was about 10 I met him for the first time in a shul in Bradley Beach, NJ. He became close to my family and while becoming religous he would spend almost every single shabbos at our house. His parents were divorced. He lived with his mother in Belmar and his father lived with his wife. His mother was not religious and my parents were happy to have him over. For many years he would keep me in my room and sexually abuse me. The first time it happened was at night over either a shabbos or yom tov (I cannot remember for sure) when he was sleeping on a pullout bed in my room. I was petrified when he woke me up and started touching me and doing things to me. He told me if I told ANYONE that nobody would believe me and that it would cause tremendous problems for myself and my family. This went on almost every shabbos untill I went away for Yeshiva. Around that time there was an incident regarding another Rabbi he was spending a Shabbos with and his young son. He was also thrown out of a few schools for problems with other boys. After my parents learned about that they did not want him sleeping over anymore. However, he would still eat shabbos lunch and spend the day at our house. Whenever I came back from Yeshiva he continued to approach me on and off whenever he found himself alone with me. As I got bigger and stronger I started defending myself and after a while all he could do was ask me to do things with him which I would never allow. The last encounter with him was before I got married when he tried to put a hand on me. I grabbed him by the throat and told him if he ever tried that again I would slice his throat open.

Although I was no longer threatened by him I was always scared of him. My parents who still knew nothing ever happened were still very close to him. He would constantly be over at our house learning with my father. Because I was scared for so long and such a long time passed I decided it would be best if I just put it out of my head and tried to forget anything ever happened. I got married and now have 4 beautiful children. The only times I have ever thought of it was when I would see a special on T.V. about child predators. I never told my wife or my parents. I never wanted to be around him but could never throw him out because if I did I would have to say why and I didn't want to discuss it. It almost made me sick when he came to my wedding. But I still could not tell my parents. Even after such a long time I felt not only scared but felt guilty like I did something wrong. I always felt if I told anybody they might not believe me, and even if they did I felt they would think it was my fault. I know this might not make sense to many of you but it just felt better and easier to try and escape it than deal with it. It was my secret and would remain my secret until I died.

The other day I was on the phone with my mother and she told me to Google his name. She would not tell me why but told me I would not believe it. We always suspected him gay and when he got married it shocked my entire family. I refused to go to his wedding or call him to wish him mazal. We were more shocked when he had a child (again, I refused ANY contact). My parents always just thought I didn't like him because he was always a bit strange. while I completely agreed I had no interest in telling them all the details. When I read about what he did to some boys who spent a shabbos by him, chills ran down my back, and tears just started flowing down my face. All I could think about was every shabbos that he did the same or had me do things to him. I told my wife right away who was not sure exactly how to take what I was telling her. I called my mother back crying and tried to tell her the truth. It took a while to get the whole truth out and she was obviously shocked. I did not want to tell my father but she convinced me. Needless to say he was not too pleased. The hurt they had was that this was happening down the hall from them for YEARS under their noses and they had no idea. this was very hard for them to grasp.

My biggest shame is not that I still feel guilty or dirty or scared. Instead I feel that my being scared and not saying anything allowed for this to continue. Had I been able to put my fear aside and come out and say what happened, he would either be in jail or the jewish world would have known about it and this would not have happened to some boys again. For that I apologize to all the famillies and the boys this happened to. I am also shocked that the jewish world would rather not get the authorities involved. For that I am disgusted. If the jewish community would let this animal run around free to do this again than I know what I have to do. I WILL call the Police and do whatever I can to make sure this animal CANNOT do this again. This is not something he can control, and this definately cannot be controlled by Rabonim. If this happened to any of their children I can assure you that they would be in full agreement of putting this person behind bars. If not than this will happen again. I will tell the authorities what happened to me. If there is nothing they can do than there is nothing else I can do. But when he strikes again I do not want to be responsible. Any Rabbi who says the police should not be called will be responsible for the next boy that falls prey to Colmer.

I again would like to apologize to the boys and the famillies for this happening and for not being brave enough to say something years ago when I could have stopped it.
I'm working with a very experienced person in the field of child sexual abuse who made this comment.

"The more I learn about Stefan Colemar the more disturbed I become -- he appears to be a compulsive, manipulative, deceitful and highly dangerous sex addict who preys on children---- and who has so far been sheltered by rabbis, particularly, it seems, one Lazer Ginsburg".

I have confirmed that "Rabbi" Shmuel Kaminetzky has advised parents of Colemar victims NOT TO GO TO THE POLICE!!!



We are making progress in bringing Colemar to justice! I URGE ANYONE AND EVERYONE WITH ANY INFORMATION AT ALL TO CONTACT:

Michael Lesher, Esq.
(973) 470-0212



Very well said my good friend Steve:

Colemar, Leizerowitz and Mondrowitz have taken refuge in Israel. What stands in the way of bringing Mondrowitz back to face justice is DA Charles Hynes. The indictment is already in place and the evidence is irrefutable. The reason he hasn't been extradited yet is because of a loophole that Hynes is hanging by. The extradition agreement between the US and Israel at the time of Mondrowitz' atrocities did not include those charged of raping males. This was amended in 1988 to include males. According to an Israeli embassy official quoted in the NY Post, all they are waiting for is a phone call from Hynes' office.

As for Colemar and Leizerowitz, all that is required is for survivors to file charges. I am sure it is extremely painful for them to have to testify and relive the nightmare. I'm sure it is difficult for the parents to have their children retell their experiences. However, this is the only way to prevent these monsters from attacking other small children. Statistics show that these perverts can and will strike again. They must be brought to justice immediately. In the cases of Colemar and Leizerowitz, not even Hynes can stand in the way of extradition, unless he personally rewrites the extradition laws.

It is all up to the survivors in these cases. We obviously can't rely on Ginzberg and Olewski to go to the police.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Rabbi Also Molested Girls

Phil Jacobs Executive Editor

MAY 04, 2007

Part of a continuing series on sexual molestation in the Jewish community. Warning: This article contains graphic sexual descriptions that may be offensive to some readers.

It wasn't only boys. Since the Baltimore Jewish Times' April 13 account that the deceased Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro—former principal of the Talmudical Academy and spiritual leader of the old Agudas Achim Synagogue—molested young boys hundreds of times, at least three women have come forward to share their molestation stories.

Pedophiles, according to Lisa Ferentz, a Pikesville-based clinical social worker and creator of a certificate program in Advanced Trauma Treatment, are not necessarily attracted to one gender over the other.

"What matters the most to many pedophiles," she said, "is the age of the victim. They are attracted to, and interested in controlling and maintaining power, over a child—it can either be a boy or a girl. This is important for parents to understand as they work to protect their children from potential predators.

"If they have information about a pedophile molesting boys, they shouldn't assume that their daughters are any safer in the company of that person," said Ms. Ferentz. "All kids need to be educated about inappropriate touch, and they should be empowered to fight back whenever possible, and to immediately tell a safe adult."

The following are accounts of three women now ranging in age from 58-69. When molested by Rabbi Shapiro, their age range was 7-12. (One of the women contacted the newspaper anonymously.)

Annette Stadd-Wilson

She was 7 and in second grade when she was molested after a Sunday school class by her teacher, Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro. He would go on to molest her countless number of times.

Annette Stadd-Wilson is now 58 and living in Phoenix, Ariz. She is a yoga instructor.

"This was a married man with children," she said with anger in her voice. "This was a man of God. He got away with this his entire life, and nobody came forward to make him stop."

Rabbi Shapiro would call her into his office, she recounted. He would then unzip his pants and ask her to caress him, she said. "This happened many times, and he would press me against his private parts," she said.

For Mrs. Wilson, there was even a deeper double meaning. The two shared the same birthday.

"As a girl, I always thought that something was wrong with me, for this to happen to me. When you are a young child and this happens, you think it is OK because you are the child and he is the adult—and a rabbi as well."

Rabbi Shapiro also officiated at her late father's funeral. She remembered the rabbi giving her some advice about the grieving process. Ms. Stadd chose to ignore him.

"I chose to leave the Jewish religion and found Eastern religion and yoga," she said. "I thank God that I did. It gave me an understanding of life and religion that made sense. I have thought that what happened to me does affect my lack of trust and feeling good about myself. Human beings all have a right to grow up feeling happy and healthy about themselves, and molestation destroys this."

Mrs. Wilson said she rarely speaks about her experiences.

"It's so devastating," she said, "you can't even talk about it. We have to ask ourselves, ‘How do we stop this?' I would like for Jewish people to stand up and come forward and face this. ... And I'm not sure I left Judaism because of this or not, but it probably had something to do with it. There's just way too much hypocrisy here."

E.J. Dopkin

Ellen Jane Dopkin was the only girl in her Agudas Achim Synagogue class.

She was post-bat mitzvah age, but her Hebrew school classroom achievements gave her the rare opportunity as a girl to be part of a special class studying the works of the Jewish sage Rashi.

She was the only girl in a class of about 15 young teens. One day, her teacher, the late Rabbi Shapiro, asked her to stay after class. They were alone. He placed his hands all over her body. He forced a kiss on her lips.

It happened over and over, she said.

Known to friends as "E.J.," Mrs. Dopkin sits in her beautiful Pikesville home with her husband, Michael. The events described above happened decades ago. Yet, they remain fresh for Mrs. Dopkin.

She was told about the April 13 Jewish Times story on Rabbi Shapiro and boys. She wanted to make sure that the community understood that girls were involved, too.

"Sometimes it happened in his office in the downstairs part of the school," she said. "Sometimes he had me come to his house. I never told anybody. I was a young girl. I didn't know what to do.

"It impacted me," she said. "It kept a block in front of me and my life. I felt that I wasn't able to accomplish as much as I could have because of what he did to me."

Mrs. Dopkin said she thinks of herself as a survivor. She said she's working to do what she can to get past her memories.

"Having an experience such as this makes you feel as if you don't want to trust people of authority, and then you don't want to trust anyone else, and then you don't even want to trust yourself," she said. "Then, the healing process is to say to yourself, ‘I can try to get past this.'"

What would Mrs. Dopkin ask Rabbi Shapiro today if she could?

"How could you use religion as an entering point to your terrible behavior?"

An Anonymous Caller

The Jewish Times received a call on Wednesday, April 25, from another woman who claimed she was molested by the late Ephraim Shapiro.

She was 111/2 and taking private bat mitzvah lessons with the rabbi at Agudas Achim.

"He would cop a feel," said the 68-year-old woman, who asked for anonymity. "He'd try to get underneath my sweaters. I was a little skinny minnie. I didn't know from this stuff. We didn't talk about these things."

"I never thought about it all of these years, I never told anybody," she said. "That's the trouble with the Jewish people. We sweep everything under the rug.

"It's a shame this wasn't told while he was living."

The impact stayed with her for years. "I didn't want to have any more with Jewish learning," she said. "I was sick of the whole damn thing. I knew he should not touch me, but he did.

"I remember his grubby hands. But Agudas Achim was a second home to my grandfather. I hated it, but I had to go."

For tips on future stories for this series, contact Phil Jacobs at pjacobs@jewishtimes.com . The next story in this series will be on the efforts by local groups and rabbis to offer resources for healing for sexual abuse survivors.

Victims Of Leizerowitz and his enabler Olewski from the Ger Yeshiva in Boro Park PLEASE immediately contact award winning journalist Kristen Lombardi: klombardi@villagevoice.com

Ms. Lombardi broke the back of the Boston Archdiocese, and was able to revive the Abraham Mondrowitz case in the D.A.'s office. Your anonymity is guaranteed!